|Me waking up in the back of my truck on Race day|
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
WOW! The things we do for the things we love and in my case it is NASCAR. I have been a race fan for as long as I can remember. I remember watching the 1979 Daytona 500 on TV which was the first time a NASCAR race was shown live from start to finish. I remember going to local tracks to watch the local race heroes battle it out on asphalt and often times on dirt with the occasional battle outside the cars. Everyone that is a fan has their favorite driver and will passionately defend why they should be the winner in Sunday’s race only to be disappointed when they don’t. Their driver is rarely the reason why a crash happened even when that driver admits to being the reason. I just sit back and laugh because I am the same way, Dale Jr has never caused a crash. Ha-ha.
This past weekend was the Daytona 500 and I was without a ticket. How could this be? A fan of my magnitude missing out on the Great American Race. But that is where I found myself, ticket-less and depressed. I moped around the house all day Saturday. If I had some sackcloth and ashes I probably would have been wearing them to display my state of despair. I couldn't do anything to get myself out of this rut even though I had a show that night. It was imperative I walk out of the room of gloom and get ready for the show. Which I did. I simply decided, as much as I wanted to be at the race I still had a lot of stuff to be happy about. This makes all the difference in the world.
I cleaned up got ready, still not quite myself but getting there. About 7 miles into my trip to the show I got the call, rather, the Facebook message, a ticket has become available. I of course was overjoyed, I will not miss this race after all. Now what? Well I will make phone calls, turn the truck around grab some provisions and head to my show. The show that night was a great success and I even saw a shooting star that night as I made the drive to Daytona. Then came the task of finding a place to sleep. Yep, I slept in the back of my truck in a huge field used for parking. I didn't want to miss a moment of the race experience and of course get ahead of all the traffic coming into Daytona from all directions on Sunday morning.
The cool thing about race weekend is the experience of race weekend. It is unique to NASCAR. Everything from the family aspect to the party to a weekend get-a-way. People in motor-homes and tents and even in the back of their trucks just so they can be here on this weekend to experience this race. Some may not find it appealing, some may even not have a good time but they are in the minority. By and large race weekend is the most fun a fan can have at a sporting event.
Thanks NASCAR and Daytona International Speedway for a great Sunday of fun.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Growing up I remember playing in my bathtub with my superhero action figures. I had Batman, Robin, Superman and Aquaman who would defeat, after a long battle, the soap demon or the wash cloth villain leaving us victorious. We would go back to the Hall of Justice (my bedroom) and swap stories of our defeat of evil. Each Saturday morning the Justice League cartoons would turn the living room into a headquarters where I could watch my heroes defeat the likes of the Joker, Lex Luther or any number of villains from the Legion of Doom. Even today, as old as I am, I can’t wait for the next superhero blockbuster to come to the theaters. Recently at the movies I saw some trailers and this summer is going to be fun.
As fun as those characters are to watch, they are fictitious. Even Superman, whose motto is, “Truth, Justice and the American way,” isn't really living in a city called Metropolis working for a newspaper. With these larger than life heroes on television and in movie theaters it is easy to overlook the real life heroes who live all around us. They are everywhere and have placed their lives on the line for each of us in one way or another, they are America’s Heroes.
Throughout my travels, I have met and even spent time with many who have laid it all on the line just so I can go around the country telling jokes for a living. My dad spent time in the Army and tells stories all the time of his days spent serving in the military. Just the other day he was telling me how he was on alert for the Bay of Pigs crisis (look it up if you don’t know). Everyone who was alive in the early 60’s remembers just where they were when President Kennedy was assassinated and my dad is no different, he was washing his army jeep when it came across the radio. I have heard stories from many veterans around the country about their time in the service. Never once have I heard them say they regretted their time. Although some didn't appreciate being drafted, they still served with pride which still resonates in them long after their discharge.
It doesn't just stop with our military folks but America’s Heroes are all around us. There has been a lot of talk lately about our police around the country, even on my Facebook some people post stories of the bad apples in the barrel (I am convinced not all these are true but edited video clips to make them look bad). But when you are in trouble, in a wreck or someone is poking around your house, these men and women come ready to take on whatever challenge lies ahead of them. Just the other day, here in Florida there was a shootout which resulted in the injury of an officer. As much as I played cops and robbers as a kid, I am not sure I want to be involved in a real life shoot out. But they are willing.
Firefighters rushing in a burning structure to help save the family pet so everyone gets out alive or sees the family photo album about to be engulfed so they carry it out to give back to the mother just so some memories are preserved. They are America’s Heroes. Even the crossing guards I pass when I take my daughter to school each morning willingly step out into traffic to ensure our kids cross the street to school or arrive home safely each day, America’s Heroes.
You see, they are all around us. They are our neighbors. They sit next to us at church or stand in line with us at the grocery store. They are often unsung, unnoticed and just go about their business which they are ok with it seems. But if the need arises they will stand up to be counted. They stand on the line between us and whatever evil is heading our way. They are truly superheroes. Well better than that, they are America’s Heroes.
If you see one today, tell them thank you.